Here are some tips for going home for the holidays in case you plan to travel anywhere to celebrate this year. The holidays are stressful enough without adding the chaos of unorganized travel to the mix! Use these tips to help keep your holiday travel plans smooth and stress-free. Please keep reading if you’d like to learn what my secret tips for going home for the holidays are!
1. Prepare in Advance
Of all my tips for going home for the holidays, this one is the most important. Waiting till the last minute to pack or make preparations to leave is a recipe for certain disaster. There’s a time and place to be spontaneous, but when you can plan and prepare in advance it will make things so much easier on you! Decide when you will leave, pack as much as you can before it’s time to go, and make plans for what you will do and who you will see while you are in town. These little actions will make things much easier on you in the long run!
2. Keep Kids Occupied
If you’re traveling with children, it’s best to bring lots of things to keep them occupied! Whether you’re traveling by car or flying, kids get bored quickly. Bring little bags filled with different things. Quiet toys, coloring books, snacks, portable DVD players, and stuffed toys are some good ideas of what to bring. Pack things in individual bags so that you have a new bag to hand out when the contents of one bag get old.
3. Travel Light
I’m a minimalist so I always try to pack light when we travel. It’s not always easy, especially when you have babies and toddlers to pack for! Ask if relatives have items you can use such as a pack and play or a high chair. Cut back on bringing electronics so you won’t be tied to your laptop the whole visit. Find out where you can do laundry so you don’t need to pack 2 weeks worth of clothes for everyone.
4. Purchase Travel Friendly Gifts
Going home for Christmas usually means you leave with more than you arrived with. And even though you make more space in your suitcase by handing out your own gifts, it’s still not a bad idea to pack travel friendly gifts. Small gifts or gift cards work best when travel is involved. You can also wait to do your shopping once you arrive. And save the wrapping for once you arrive as well. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a squished bow and torn wrapping paper!
5. Keep Your Home Safe While You Are Away
Burglaries and home invasions are twice as likely to occur around the holidays than any other time of year. With people away from their homes, it is a prime time for someone with low intentions to strike. So upon leaving your home, double check that all doors and windows are secure and your home alarm systems are in place. It’s a good idea to appoint someone who can “housesit” for you or at least check in from time to time. You can also leave a light, a TV, or a radio on to give the appearance of someone being at home.
6. Last Minute Checklist
Run through all the last minute things you need to double check right before you leave. Did you pack all the necessities? Do you have your up-to-date insurance cards? Is your iron turned off? Does the cat have food and water set out? Did you lock the back door? Is the tree unplugged? Did you remember to pack your cell phone charger?
7. Enjoy Your Family
My last tip for traveling home around the holiday season is to remember to enjoy your family. Put down your iPhone and actually have a conversation! Don’t get so busy cooking pies that you forget to laugh about last year’s pageant gone wrong. If you need a minute to calm down when your Aunt Ida gets on your nerves, then count to 10 before you lose your temper. Remember the true reason for the season and try to keep the spirit light!
Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of my favorite holidays. I’m also a big planner, and so these are the tips that have helped keep me sane throughout the busy season of Christmas! Do you have any tips that you use for traveling home around the holidays? Please comment below, and thanks for reading!